Happy 99th Birthday To My Dad

Today would have been my dad’s 99th birthday, had he not passed away almost 25 years ago.

Here’s something I wrote a little over a decade ago about my dad on the anniversary of his passing.

I was running some errands this morning and a song I had not heard in a long time came up on my playlist while I was driving. It was “Everybody Loves Somebody” which was a chart-topping hit for Dean Martin in the latter part of 1964. It brought back a memory of watching my mom and dad dance to that song when it was played, and how happy they seemed. My dad was no Fred Astaire (and I, sadly, inherited his lack of dancing prowess) but I remember my mom looking so happy as they danced to that song when I was 9 years old.

That song coming up was actually a surprise because I don’t even remember adding it to my playlist, though surely I must have at some point in the past. I don’t really believe in this type of thing but maybe, just maybe, it coming up was dad saying “Hi” and dropping a pleasant memory for me on his birthday. If so, thanks dad.

I love you and miss you.

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Worms in Canned Fish Products

It’s said that “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

How old, expired cans of fish helped researchers trace the progress of worms in various fish over the past 42 years.

Open can of tuna fish.






And did you even KNOW that worms were in your canned fish products? Yuck!

Worms coming out of a man’s mouth.

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Witnessing Three Total Solar Eclipses in My Lifetime

Saturday, March 7, 1970 I was 14 years old and playing trombone in my junior high school’s orchestra/stage band. That day our school was competing in the state school band contest held in Miami and afterward having lunch at a Swedish buffet restaurant named Sweden House Smorgasbord. We got off the bus in the restaurant parking lot and watched the first total solar eclipse seen in North America in our lifetime. Some of us had film we looked through and some had built pinhole projectors out of cardboard boxes.

Newspaper headline from March 7, 1970 predicting the 2024 total solar eclipse.Not sure why this 1970 newspaper headline only mentions the next one as being in 2024, since there was one in 1979 and one in 2017. But it was pretty neat to see this year’s eclipse being predicted 54 years ago!

I missed getting to see the next total solar eclipse that touched American soil in 1979, but did get to see the following one in 2017.

By the way, here’s a list of all the total solar eclipses that have occurred over the United States since such occurrences were officially recorded.

Now, barring dismal weather or my untimely discorporation, I’ll get to see the third North American total solar eclipse in my lifetime next Monday, April 8, 2024. Cindy and I have planned for two years to be where we’re at now (Canyon Lake, Texas) so we could be in the path of totality.

Which is good, because the odds aren’t in my favor that I’ll be around for the next one a little over 20 years from now on August 23, 2044.

But who knows…?

Posted in Science, Weather Events | 4 Comments

Happy Birthday Superman!

February 29th, a date that only appears every four years (due to a “Leap Year” used in the Gregorian Calendar to align months in sync with annual events such as equinoxes and solstices), is officially designated as the birthdate of Superman by DC Comics.

If you’re not familiar with the mythos of Superman, that date may leave you scratching your head. I’ve covered this before, but thought I would do so again.

Cover of Action Comics #1 - First Appearance of Superman.Superman officially appeared for the first time in Action Comics #1, cover dated June 1938 but released on the newsstands in April 1938. And he has always been portrayed as being 29 years old, as if preserved in amber since his debut. If we used that date as his “birthday” then Superman would be turning 115 years old this April.

But in the late 1960’s – early 1970’s (before his owners starting resetting his origin every few years) the powers that be at DC Comics came up with a rather strange way to explain why, 30 years after his debut, Superman still appeared to be a young man. Let’s place his birthdate on a date that only falls every four years, February 29th, so that he only “ages” a year every four years. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

And you know, for kids who were reading in the 1960’s that seemed like a VERY logical thing. Of course it completely ignores the fact that you still age during those four years, but to a kid who isn’t given to critical thinking (and most weren’t/aren’t), that explanation makes sense.

Today, Superman is still portrayed as being a young man, though one that is married and has a son. That has been accomplished by, as I mentioned above, resetting his origin every few years or splitting the older Superman versions into separate worlds or separate dimensions, etc.

But officially, February 29th is STILL Superman’s birthday, recognized as such around the world.

Happy Birthday Superman

So Happy Birthday to the world’s greatest superhero, Superman!

“Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow” Collected Edition.P.S. Here’s one of my very favorite Superman books, collecting the “Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow” storyline by Alan Moore that officially marks the end of the Silver Age Superman era, along with a couple of other classic Superman stories.

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If You Were a Pizza…

Delicious PizzaIf you were a pizza, what kind of pizza would you be?

I don’t ask this as an existential question or a thought experiment, though it may lead to such for you as you consider.

I ask because last night I had one of the strangest dreams I’ve had in quite a while, and it got me to wondering about the question above.

During my dream, everyone I interacted with was a “pizza person” and by that I don’t mean they liked pizza. I mean they WERE PIZZA.

Pizza bodies with little arms and legs sticking out from the edges of the rounded crust, and faces on the pizza topping.

It was weird.

I saw pepperoni, sausage, veggie, supreme and all other varieties of pizza people. I talked to them, and they to me. Other than their appearance, everything else was quite normal.

I don’t think I was a pizza, but to be honest I don’t remember completely.

Did I say it was weird?

Anyway, after I awakened from my Italian Alice in Wonderland dream, I got to wondering, “If I were a pizza, what kind of pizza would I be?”

I think I’d be my favorite; Alfredo sauce, Feta Cheese and Black Olives.

Or, my second-favorite; Red sauce, Black Olives and Mushrooms.

Might depend on the mood I was in.

And I won’t even get into the various crust types, lol.

How about you? If you were a pizza, what kind of pizza would you be?



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The Queen’s Gambit

I spent this past Saturday binge-watching “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix. Initially I had not planned on watching it, but several friends on Facebook were singing its praises and a couple of my co-workers were also recommending it, so I figured I’d give it a look.

I should say up front that I am a fan of the game of chess. When I was 8 or 9 a young man and his sister who were refugees from Cuba moved in with their parents across the street from us in Hialeah. Their parents did not speak much English, but Mario and his younger sister Marilyn were fluent in the language. Marilyn would babysit my younger brother and I sometimes and Mario taught me how to play chess. I loved the game, especially since it involved skill and strategy, as opposed to games of chance. But there weren’t many other kids in elementary school who knew how to play and it wasn’t until I got to junior high school that I was able to play different people.

One of my favorite gifts of all time came from my younger brother (that’s the case with a lot of my favorite gifts) who brought me back a chess board and pieces carved out of lava rock from his honeymoon in Mexico. My most recent games have been with my ten-year old middle granddaughter Abby a few months ago who, unlike her granddad, had an elementary school which offered an after-school chess club before COVID-19 shut things down.

Still, it’s difficult to imagine a seven-episode television series on the subject of chess being much of a draw, even to fans of the game. But, of course, the series deals with more than the game and is centered around the rollercoaster life of a young chess prodigy as she moves from discovering the game at the age of nine to the end of the series when she is twenty-two and competing in the Soviet Union in 1968.

So I started watching it without knowing what it was all about and, honestly, almost gave up after the first couple of episodes. However, I continued on and by the time it was over I was glad I did. It is an admirable look at overcoming situations you didn’t create and situations you did create, as well as the value of teamwork when it is not your default choice.

A big thumbs up for “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix.

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Did You Know…How We Got WD-40?

Well, I noticed the other day that I haven’t done one of these kind of posts in almost 5 years and it’s time to remedy that.

Cans of WD-40These days, almost every professional and home tool kit contains a can of WD-40, which is used for a variety of lubrication purposes in the home, on cars, on boats, really on just about anything metal.

But do you know how it came to be?


Photo of old Rocket Chemical Company in San Diego, CABack in 1953, a fledgling company named Rocket Chemical Company of San Diego with only 3 employees was attempting to develop a product that would prevent rust and corrosion on missile parts for the aerospace industry by displacing water on surfaces before it could cause oxidation to begin. Scientist Norm Larsen was experimenting with formulas to achieve that result, but kept failing to find one that would work.

Finally, on his 40th try, he got it right and WD (Water Displacement) – 40 was born.

Now you know.

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Voting By Mail and the USPS

My wife mailed 4 packages of her candle products from Orlando to a customer in North Carolina on Monday morning, paying extra for Priority Mail service, which USPS promises will be delivered in 1 to 3 business days.

USPS Mail Truck Being Towed

Five days later they haven’t been delivered yet.

If you’re going to vote by mail this year due to COVID-19, as I have because of traveling for the past decade without incident, be sure to do so as early as possible.

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And We’re Back…

With images!

Man holding head in pain in front of his laptopTwelve days ago I wrote about my beard growth and included a photo. When I posted it, not only did the photo NOT appear but I noticed that ALL my post photos from the past were also not showing. They were in the media library, right where they should be, but weren’t posting.

I then went to my hosting service to look into the files on the cPanel with the intent of checking for errors, but when I logged into cPanel it would not accept my username/password.

IT CartoonI instituted a chat with tech support and the guy was no help so I asked to be moved up to a higher level. Wouldn’t do it. Said I had to do what he wanted me to do. I typed a few choice words, left him the lowest rating I could, then sent an email to the host explaining the issue and asking them to fix whatever the error was within a week; otherwise I’d be changing my hosting service.


So I moved to Siteground, which I had used before for a friend of mine with his site. In the space of a little over an hour they had moved all my files for this blog, plus my Word of Jeff blog, plus Cindy’s Mountain Creek Candles site to their service AND found the error in the cPanel and fixed that for me so that all my images and photos were restored to their respective posts.

Customer service is a great thing.

I also purchased a new domain name and started setting up a site that I plan to unveil sometime in the next year or so. It’s a fun project and I’m looking forward to revealing it, but can’t say anything about it right now.

Posted in Blogs, Technology | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Test 2020_07_30

This is a test.

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